Fresh Ingredients and Traditional Favorites at Costa Rica's Best Lunch Restaurants

For a quintessential Costa Rican lunch in the city of San Jose. try a casado ("married"), at La Criollita. In Costa Rica's original capital of Cartago, Restaurante 1910 boasts original recipes inspired by traditional Costa Rican dishes like Olla de Carne, a steaming bowl of beef soup made with seasonal tubers. Rub shoulders with locals on a liesurely lunch break at La Fuente de los Mariscos in La Uruca, where a full bar complements a menu of savory seafood specials. Or, splurge on a feast for lunch prepared by the French chef in the kitchen at Hotel Grano del Oro.  Along the Caribbean coast, Sobre las Olas sits perched on the edge of the stunning Playa Blanca in Cahuita and serves delicious mussels among its tantalizing list of appetizers and entrees. A few kilometers south of Puerto Viejo de Limon, Bread & Chocolate whips up wonderful lunches alongside delicious homemade truffles and treats made with locally grown cacao. A few streets away sits Pan Pay, a local favorite started by a couple of Spanish brothers that brought not only their infectious love for soccer but their unique bread recipe to Costa Rica,  and now they churn out fresh baked baguettes that make the best lunch sandwiches.

A lovely atmosphere met with large portions and delicious flavors make Restaurante Don Porfi a longstanding favorite in Turrialba. The owner is a gregarious gent named Sergio, who may have more than a little something to do with this place's...  Read More

La Fuente de los Mariscos
Photo courtesy of slamonica

For excellent seafood, La Fuente is the place. Overlooking a busy parking lot and highway, it's perhaps not where one may expect to find delicious ceviche and stand out langosta (lobster) but indeed it is. The inside is so small you'll be...  Read More

Bread and Chocolate has become a landmark cafe in Puerto Viejo, and for good(ies) reason. Locals and tourists enjoy gathering to partake in some wholesome breakfasts, lunches, and signature baked goods here, which include handmade truffles,...  Read More

La Luz

The menu at La Luz is quite diverse, afterall it was one of the country's first fusion restaurants, and still impresses with an eclectic menu of diverse tastes; the expert chef pays close attention to detail and every plate is served like a work...  Read More

La Casona del Cafetal is a restaurant and event destination located amidst a sprawling coffee farm, offering excellent cuisine and sweeping views of its lushly planted grounds, complete with a glistening lake, Lago de Cachi. The ambience alone...  Read More

La Criollita
Photo courtesy of slamonica

La Criollita is an excellent place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has something on the menu for everyone. The fare is traditional Costa Rican; generous portions of meat, chicken and fish with rice, beans and salad on the side, and big...  Read More

What started as a simple hotel caf� has expanded to become one of the country's finest restaurants with well-earned reputation. Casually elegant, this restaurant is situated off the Grano de Oro Hotel's central courtyard which provides...  Read More

Pan Pay
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica

Pan Pay is Puerto Viejo's most popular spot for locals; here is where everyone comes for coffee, croissants, baguettes for later, and to catch up with the neighbors- and if there's a soccer game on, you can watch it here. Located in a casual...  Read More

Cartago's very history is visible in enlarged vintage photographs on display throughout this restaurant, enlightening guests to the town's rich history, highlighted by the earthquake of 1910 that nearly demolished the town of Cartago and most of...  Read More

Sobre las Olas
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica

Perched on the edge of the coral reef overlooking the beautiful coast of Cahuita, Sobre las Olas is a perfect little restaurant that has excellent food to match its ambience. The best seats are outside nestled between the palm trees, where...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia